1931 jungle picture - a woman searches the jungles for her husband, who has gone somewhat Kurtzy.
March 27, 2014
White women beware!
By 1931 the technical aspects of sound film had been nailed down, but Hollywood still came up short in having enough screenplay writers, dialog writers, and especially actors, who had the necessary talents for working in talkies. This movie is an interesting example of these shortfalls. The plot comes right out of '20s trash novels, in which a "white" woman's "virtue" is threatened by a lustful "oriental" warlord or potentate. Does a white man rescue her in time? Yep. (Except in a few cases where she didn't want to be rescued.) As for its cast members, all would survive the early days of sound and improve with age and experience, with Charles Bickford having the most distinguished career. The plot is hokey, the dialog primitive and the acting wooden, yet this movie does have a few good points. The imagery is well crafted and at times beautiful, however this can't be appreciated with the poor video quality of this print. (Some establishing footage was shot on-location in Indonesia.) The background music - what little there is of it - is indigenous, and the special effects in the climactic final scenes are impressive. All in all, a fascinatingly bad movie for classic movie buffs, with just enough camp value to be amusing for others. There definitely are enough unintentionally funny moments.
I know there is a better print out there. If I can find it I'll post it.
EDIT: A better quality print is now available here: https://archive.org/details/EastOfBorneoVideoQualityUpgrade